The famous prayers found in the Bible deserve our close attention. The Model Prayer, Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, and John’s prayer at the end of the Bible are among the most important of these noteworthy prayers. We need to learn much from them about how we are to draw near to God.
The Model Prayer
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7), Jesus’ most famous sermon, Jesus gave the Model Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13; cf. Luke 11:1-4). This may be the most famous prayer of all. Although it is often referred to as the Lord’s Prayer, that designation is not the best because it is not a record of what Jesus Himself prayed–it records what He taught His disciples to pray.
Jesus began the Model Prayer by commanding His disciples about the manner in which they are to pray. He thus directed them concerning the key elements that should be a part of their prayer life, but He did not say that they must always say these exact same words. The prayer pattern that He gave has two main sections in it. After addressing God as our heavenly Father, the first section has three requests that focus on the interests of God Himself:
- Hallowed be Thy name.
- Thy kingdom come.
- Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
The second section then has three requests that more directly concern us:
- Give us this day our daily bread.
- And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.